Friday, June 15, 2012
Strongest position group: California
By ESPN.com staff
Every team has a strength -- that one position group that can make a play on offense or make a big stop on defense when needed.
Based on what happened this spring, we're going to look at the strongest position group for each school. It could be on either side of the ball -- and it could be subject to change after fall camp goes into full swing.
We're going in reverse alphabetical order.
Strongest position group: Running back
Headliner: Isi Sofele (1,322 yards rushing, 5.2 ypc, 10 TDs)
Supporting cast: C.J. Anderson (345 yards, 4.8 ypc, 8 TDs; Brendan Bigelow (25 yards, 4.2 yards per carry)
The skinny: This might feel like a bit of an upset, and an argument can be made for either the Bears defensive line or their secondary. Still, the D-line is talented but ultimately unproven, and the secondary is promising but as of yet undistinguished. If you are looking for certainty, the Bears have it at tailback, where a 1,300-yard rusher from 2011 in Sofele will have to fight this preseason to hold onto his starting job over the physical Anderson. Bigelow is a speed guy who started to find his rhythm this spring. He figures to get plenty of touches. And redshirt freshman Daniel Lasco, the fourth guy, is no slouch -- he'd get playing time if he were suiting up for Oregon or USC. Last year, running back was a question mark for the Bears. Not so this year. That should make life a lot easier for QB Zach Maynard. If the offensive line holds up its end of the bargain, the Bears should be one of the top rushing teams in the Pac-12.